Homework is an essential part of a student’s educational experience. As part of my classroom I intend to assign it often and offer students feedback on their efforts. However, I will not been giving a grade on most “homework” assignments. Students’ grades will be based mostly on performance on tests, quizzes, projects and other “end of the unit” assignments. Below I have included my three main reasons for not grading homework.
Three good reasons not to grade homework:
- Homework should be a chance for students to practice. Therefore a student should not be penalized if they do not understand or master a concept upon their first or even second encounter. Homework should be a time where mistakes are o.k. and not penalized.
- Our students are over-stretched and suffer from sleep deprivation. Sometimes it is a good idea to skip homework. For example, on the night of the play or if there is a family emergency, it is understandable for students not to do homework and their grade should not be penalized because of it. I hope that the student discusses this with parents before they don’t do their homework, so that the e-mail sent to the parent is not a surprise. Also, if a student consistently fails to do homework, he/she may need to consider cutting down on extra-curriculars or want to think about time management strategies.
- Cheating is prevalent among students. Unfortunately, I can no longer be sure that the homework students turn in is truly their own work. If a student’s homework is supposed to be used as “evidence” as what a student understands, then homework tainted by cheating is unacceptable.
Another sleep link from the Mayo Clinic with suggestions to help the problem.
Finally, for a more extensive list for reasons not to grade homework, please click here.